Stelios Nicolaou is Aveda’s Master Barber, leading the Aveda Men grooming destination with over 20 years of experience; Stel has a wide array of experience within the grooming industry, everything from traditional barbering techniques to more contemporary treatments like the invigorating Detoxifying Scalp Cleanse and Express Refresh Facial. We caught up with him, and got him to give us his top tips for getting the best shave a man can get.
1. Prep the skin
I see a lot of men with very coarse stubble, this can often be a result of not prepping the skin properly before shaving. Avoid taking a razor straight to the skin and take time to prep the face using a shave cream like Aveda Men Shave Cream, shave brush and a hot flannel. Warming a flannel under the hot tap and then placing over the face for a few seconds will help the hair follicle rise and result in a closer, cleaner shave. It is imperative to keep skin wet throughout shaving so reapply a cream mid-shave to help avoid irritation.
2. Don’t shave against the grain
Bloodspots around the neck are a consequence of shaving against the grain, most skin types should avoid doing this completely as hair can become a lot coarser with irritation leading to bleeding from the pore. Shaving in the direction of hair growth will reduce the chance of in-grown hairs and bumpy red sores, especially around the jawline and throat. Make sure that you soothe skin post-shaving with a product like Aveda Men Pure-Formance Composition Oil that not only penetrates deep into the skin but also softens harsh stubble. Massaging into the skin in the direction of growth will maximise the moisture your pores take in.
3. Invest in good blades
Using and re-using disposable blades it one of the most common mistakes that I see – each blade should be used just once. After a blade has been used it has already become blunt, therefore for each time consecutively, rather than shaving only the hair, it is pulling and cutting the skin causing pores to rise. And due to the lack of contact, the need for shaving is increased. Investing in a trip to your barber for a professional cut throat shave will ensure that you are shaved the closest, ensuring longer-lasting smoothness and minimal irritation.